Baked chocolate tart

chocolate tart 1This week was chocolate week in the Great British Bake Off. I did briefly consider making a chocolate centre-piece, however spending most of the weekend at my brother in law’s wedding meant that realistically it wasn’t going to happen.

I decided to make a chocolate tart and first looked at a nice easy one with pomegranate on the Tesco Baking Ideas  section. It looked nice and quick but being a glutten for punishment I eventually decided on a baked chocolate tart with a heart pattern.

I adapted my normal sweet pastry ti be a chocolate pastry and made a chocolate custard which I then baked. To make the heart pattern simply pipe dots of white chocolate custard in a spiral pattern then starting at the centre of the spiral draw a skewer slowly through all the dots in the spiral to turn them into hearts.

Baked chocolate tart
Serves 12
A chocolate pastry case containing a baked dark chocolate custard with white chocolate custard used for decoration.
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For the pastry
  1. 110g Plain flour
  2. 15g Cocoa powder
  3. 15g Castor sugar
  4. 75g Unsalted butter
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. For the filling
  7. 3 Eggs (beaten)
  8. 300ml Double cream
  9. 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
  10. 300g dark chocolate (melted)
  11. 50g white chocolate (melted)
For the pastry
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa and sugar
  3. Rub in the butter
  4. Stir in the egg yolk and kneed briefly to make sure the egg is distributed evenly
  5. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes
  6. Grease a 9 inch fluted tart tin using your fingers to get right into the ridges
  7. Roll out the pastry on a non-stick mat or grease proof paper
  8. Turn the pastry into the tin and push into the edges
  9. Cut off the excess pastry from the top and line with grease proof paper and baking beans
  10. Bake for 15 minutes at 180c fan then remove from the oven, remove the grease proof paper and baking beans and make the filling
For the filling
  1. Set your oven to 150 fan
  2. Heat the cream in a pan until it starts to look fuzzy but doesn't boil
  3. Mix the vanilla essence with the beaten eggs and pour into the cream whisking continually
  4. Remove the custard from the heat and continue to mix until it thickens and begins to cool.
  5. Pour about 50ml of the custard into a bowl and keep to one side
  6. Add the melted dark chocolate to the remaining custard and mix until smooth
  7. Pour into the blind baked tart case
  8. Add the melted white chocolate to the 50mlof custard placed to one side and mix until smooth
  9. Place the white chocolate custard in a piping bag and pipe dots in a spiral from the centre to the outside of the tart.
  10. Starting again at the centre draw a skewer / cocktail stick slowly around the spiral to turn the dots into hearts
  11. Bake for 20 minutes then turn off your oven, open the door and leave the tart in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing the tart from the tin
Mummy makes cakes

This week Tesco very kindly sent me some vouchers to help me make my baked chocolate tart, I got a great selection of baking goodies which went into making my chocolate tart.  chocolate tart 2chocolate tart 3tesco





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Nectarine and raspberry frangipane tart

This week’s GBBO was pastry so I had a go at something new – a frangipane tart, I added nectarines and a layer ofraspbery jam at the bottom.
frangipane 2



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Spanish Windtorte

windtorteSo I decided to have a go at the technical challenge from this week’s GBBO, all very last minute and rushed (slightly cheating because it’s all normal meringue but here it is in all it’s sugary glory. It’s made with traditional meringe, 50g sugar to 1 egg whitewith an extra 50g of sugar so in this case 6 egg whites to 350g sugar, I made the base and top first, then the 3 rings for the sides. The remaining meringue I used round the edge, my oven was too hot initially hence the darker coloured top, I cooled itdown to finish the sides so they are a better colour. Inside is a strawberry and cream filing.windtorte2


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Plaited Cranberry Bread Wreath

wreathThis week the contestants on the Great British Bake Off tackled bread. I haven’t seen the episode yet but from the trailers it looks challenging to say the least. Show-stoppers were bread sculptures which are very impressive but I’m not sure how practical it would be to make one at home. So this week my take on a show stopping bread was to remake the Cranberry wreath bread which I made at Christmas. It tastes amazing with home made cranberry sauce and baked Camembert. I took a picture of the base to show the plaiting on both sides however sadly it’s a bit blurry. You can find the recipe here.  

wreath base

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Black forest cake

cake 4The Great British Bake Off stated again this week and as (almost) always the first week was cake week. There were Madeira cakes, Walnut cakes and Black Forest Gateaux. When thinking which I would make I wanted to try something a bit different to my normal safe recipes so I decided to use a recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book (which she signed for me at Cake International) and try her Black Forrest Cake which is a fatless sponge made by whisking the eggs and sugar together before folding in the flour and cocoa powder very carefully. I adapted the recipe slightly as I didn’t want to put Kirsch in a cake that my kids would eat so I made a cherry Jam of sorts with Glace cherries, cherry cordial, water and jam sugar, boiling the mixture at 105c for 4 minutes before leaving it to cool and set. 

I increased the cake mixture by half to give 3 layers of sponge and filled with cherry jam and cream. For the top and sides I made dark chocolate ganache and coated the sides in dark chocolate chips. Cream, cherries and a candle completed the look and I had my very own black forest gateau. For any gaming fans out there you may have spotted that it is in fact the Portal Cake. (Portal is a game where a deranged computer promises you cake as an incentive to complete increasingly difficult logic puzzles).

cake 3portal cake

We are big fans of portal in this house and in the past I have also made Companion cube biscuits and The Cake Is a Lie birthday cake.

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Summer fun with the Co-operative food and More drinks

bouncy castleDon’t ask me how it happened but this year I somehow ended up as chair of the PTA at my children’s school. The first big event that we’ve run was a Summer Fun Day (a Summer Fete by any other name). There were bouncy castles, a BBQ, activities and bar. We chose the Saturday before the end of the summer term and hoped for good weather. The week before had been the hottest of the year and the Friday was beautifully sunny so it was looking good, however on the Saturday it was cloudy grey and eventually rainy. We managed 2 of the 3 hours we had planned for the event before we accepted defeat in the rain. We were very lucky to be supported by The co-operative food and More drinks.

The co-operative provided us with bread rolls for our BBQ and also with a fabulous hamper of prizes for our raffle, including 2 delicious cakes (Passion fruit and coconut and Strawberry), 2 bottles of wine, fresh strawberries and a bottle of Prosecco (which I love).

Co-operative food hamper

The other company who kindly supported us was More Drinks – a company who make delicious flavoured waters for kids and grownups. My absolute favourite is the blackcurrant and blueberry one which also has vitamin A for healthy skin and vision.  I love the idea of water that also helps get those important vitamins into my kids. The children’s bottles have sports caps to stop spillages from distracted small people, however there’s no reason kids couldn’t also try the other flavours.

more drinks 1 more drinks 2

In spite of the rain the event was really successful and raised lots of money which will be used to improve the grounds of the school for children to enjoy.

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The Minions are coming!

FullSizeRenderWe love minions in this house. they’re cute, immoral and great for a cuddle. If they were really wandering around looking for a new evil master to serve I’d probably try and get them to come and live with me. Do you think they’d be good at doing the washing up?

On June 26th the new Minions movie hits cinemas with Stuart, Bob and Kevin going in search of a new evil master and it’s going to be EPIC!!

Whether you’re going out to find your new liege lord of heading to your local cinema you’re going to need something healthy and packed with goodness to give you the energy for your quest. In this house that means pizza. Made from scratch pizza. Easy peasy made from scratch pizza actually.

To coincide with the launch of the Minions movie Green Giant Sweetcorn have challenged bloggers to come up with a minion inspired recipe so her is my Minion Pizza.

Minion Pizza
Yields 2
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  1. 250g Strong white bread flour
  2. 4g Fast action yeast
  3. 5g salt
  4. 1 and a half tablespoons Olive oil
  5. 150ml Water (room temperature)
  6. 2 - 3 table spoons passata (per pizza)
  7. 250g Grated mozzarella
  8. 1 can Green Giant Sweetcorn
  9. 1 slice honey roast ham
  10. Handful of frozen peas
  1. Place the flour, salt, yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and stir together.
  2. Add the olive oil and water and knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes using the stand mixer.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to prove for about and hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220c
  5. Split the dough in two and roll out into two pizzas.
  6. Spread the passata over the pizza
  7. Sprinkle the cheese over the passata
  8. Use the ham and peas to make the minion eyes and mouth
  9. Use the sweetcorn for the yellow colour
  10. Bake the pizzas in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the base is crisp and the cheese melted.
Mummy makes cakes
This post is part of the Tots 100 Green Giant Minion Challenge

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Magic Squares Playdates

eating1We were recently asked to organise a playdate involving the new range of Petits Filous yoghurts called Magic Squares, a combination of either raspberry or strawberry and vanilla. My kids have been learning about 2D shapes so we had a tea party with different shaped food. Triangle sandwiches, circular carrots (just cut them into slices instead of sticks) and squares in the yoghurt. My two monkeys loved identifying all the shapes and changing them. “look  mummy it’s a semi-circle” while eating half a carrot slice. The yoghurts were a big hit and I’ve been asked to get them “All the time”.

I even had a sneaky try of the Magic Squares myself and they were a nice mix of flavours, I haven’t had much of a lookin though as they are being requested regularly as desert – only beaten as current favourite by chocolate cake.

This post is an entry for Britmums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge Sponsored by Petits Filous

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No Bake Baileys and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Baileys cheesecake4I can hardly believe that we’ve already reached May, the sun is shining, our plum tree is flowering and it seems the perfect time to get together with a few friends to enjoy being “Ladies that Lunch” while our little ones are in school. It doesn’t happen very often, with jobs and younger children to work around but when we can get together we like to have a grown up lunch date with good food, good company and a few grown up drinks. I hosted this time and as well as a buffet style lunch I decided we deserved a special treat so I used some of the gorgeous Baileys Liqueur which I’ve been sent to whip up a super easy no bake cheesecake.
Baileys cheesecake7I made this cake in the morning, it took maybe 30 minutes to mix up plus chilling for an hour afterwards. The white chocolate blends perfectly with the flavour of the Baileys and the addition of a little milk chocolate to the glaze gives it a beautiful two-tone effect.

Find the recipe below and some step by step photos at the bottom of the page – enjoy!


No Bake Baileys and White Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves 8
Incredibly easy no bake cheesecake with Baileys, White and Milk chocolate.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 300g Digestive Biscuits (crushed)
  2. 150g Unsalted Butter (melted)
  3. 500g Mascarpone Cheese
  4. 450ml Double cream split into 200ml and 250ml
  5. 100g Icing sugar
  6. 250g White chocolate - split into 200g and 50g
  7. 60ml Baileys Irish Cream (equivalent to approx 1.1 units of alcohol)
  8. 50g Milk chocolate
  1. Grease and line the base of a 9inch / 23cm round tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits either in a blender or by hand.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat - remove from the heat before the butter is fully melted and stir with a wooden spoon until completely melted.
  4. Tip the crushed biscuits into the pan with the butter and stir to combine.
  5. Push the crushed biscuits into the 9inch / 23cm cake tin to form the base of the cheesecake - smooth to the edges of the tin and push down with a palate knife or the back of a metal spoon to form a firm level base.
  6. Place the tin in the fridge to set the base while you mix the cheesecake.
  7. In a large bowl combine the mascarpone, Icing sugar and 200ml of double cream, stirring until you make a smooth mixture. Don't over mix as this can curdle the cheese.
  8. Place the remaining 250ml of double cream in a separate bowl then melt 200g of the white chocolate either with 10 second bursts in a microwave (stir between each burst) or in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
  9. Stir the 250ml of double cream and 200g of white chocolate together to form a ganache.
  10. Add 2/3 of the white chocolate ganache to the cheesecake mixture and mix until smooth.
  11. Remove the base from the fridge and spoon the cheesecake mixture on top, smoothing out to the edges of the tin. Make sure it goes right to the edge so that when the glaze is added it will stay on top and not seep down the sides.
  12. Wipe round the top of the tin with a damp cloth to remove any stray cheesecake mix before making the glaze.
  13. Add 60ml of baileys to the remaining 1/3 of white chocolate ganache.
  14. Melt the remaining 50g of white chocolate and stir this into the Baileys mixture to thicken it slightly.
  15. Pour a 1/4 of the Baileys mixture into a cup / jug and place to one side.
  16. Melt the 50g of milk chocolate and stir into the remaining 3/4 of the Baileys mixture.
  17. Pour the milk chocolate Baileys ganache onto the top of the cheesecake to form a smooth glaze. You can use a toothpick to pop any bubbles that appear.
  18. Take the white chocolate Baileys ganache that you put to one side earlier and place it in a piping bag with a writing nozzle (a sandwich bag with a corner cut off works too).
  19. Make zig-zags with the white chocolate Baileys ganache over the milk chocolate Baileys ganache.
  20. Wipe round the top of the tin to remove any excess ganache.
  21. Pace in the fridge to chill for at least an hour - you can even make this the day before and leave overnight.
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Baileys Cheesecake Collage
This is a sponsored post & I was sent a bottle of Baileys for the purposes of creating this recipe. Other recipe ideas for baking with Baileys can be found on the recipe page of the Baileys website.

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Thomas Land at Drayton Manor is better than ever!

Rosie and other enginesDrayton Manor in Staffordshire is one of our favourite places to visit in the holidays. My son is a huge fan of Thomas the Tank Engine so the fact that Europe’s only Thomas Land is found there has us going back again and again. This week we were lucky enough to be invited to the press launch of the expansion to Thomas Land. As part of Drayton Manor’s 65th anniversary celebrations a £2.5 million extension to our favourite part of the park has been unveiled, increasing Thomas land by 40% and introducing new rides featuring Flynn the fire engine, Captain the life boat and Toby the tram. My kids had a fabulous tie going on the new rides and watching the performers there to celebrate the opening. My son’s loved firing the water cannon on Captain’s Sea Adventure and both children wanted to fly with Jeremy again and again in his new location right outside the Sodor Airport function rooms and cafe. The fat controller has a brand new statue sheltering under an unbrella from a fountain and there are fairground style games to play too.ThomasLandCollage

In celebration of the 65 years since the park opened there are some great offers available including a family day pass offering a family of four entrance to the park and access to all of its attractions for just £65 when booked seven or more days in advance or if individual tickets are more appropriate by booking seven days or more in advance you can take advantage of the following great discounts; adult (12+) tickets at £20, children (aged 4-11), grandees (60+) and disabled visitors and their carers priced at £15.

The exclusive anniversary offers throughout the 2015 main season and provides a whopping 55% saving, compared to on the gate prices.

Tickets can be prebooked online at

ThomasWe had such a good time that we even made a cake to celebrate – this Thomas the tank engine cake is really simple to make for a birthday party or jut to please your little Thomas fan. The full recipe and tutorial are available at

About Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor Theme Park Ltd, opened to the public in 1950 by the Bryan family, is one of the UK’s most popular family attractions with over one million visitors a year. George and Vera Bryan OBE, converted 80 acres of derelict land, which once belonged to Sir Robert Peel Bart; MP & PM to Queen Victoria and his family, into today’s wonderful multi award-winning family attraction, combining thrill rides with a conservation zoo plus catering and conference facilities.

1950-Chair Swing 5Today, Drayton Manor Theme Park, still family owned and run by second and third generation family members, covers 286 acres of beautiful woodland and countryside and features some of the wildest and scariest rides around. Rides include: Roller-Coasters – Shockwave, Ben 10: Ultimate Mission and G-force.  Major rides: Maelstrom, Apocalypse and Storm Force 10, our wettest ride. It is home to the hugely popular Thomas Land™ featuring many named Thomas & Friends™ character rides for the children and adults alike. Thomas Land™ at Drayton Manor is the only one of its kind in Europe.  The park’s 152 seat 4D Cinema and over 50rides and attractions makes for an truly unforgettable day.

A four-star Hotel onsite featuring 150 rooms includes Thomas & Friends™ themed rooms all sleeping four to six guests, family rooms, executive rooms and presidential suites. It also features two well stocked bars, two sublime restaurants, a relaxing lounge, large conference room for functions and exhibitions as well as an idyllic wedding facility for up to 400 guests.


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